Anti-wrinkle injections, commonly referred to as Botox injections seem to be a taboo topic, yet they’re becoming more and more prevalent among both younger and older women. So to find out what all the hype is about, bh’s Kelly recently went in for her first Botox treatment and documented the entire experience. But before we get into the good stuff (like her before and after photos!), here’s everything you need to know about Botox…
What is Botox?
Botox is a trade name for botulinium toxin, a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinium. Phew! So that’s the scientific description over and done with, but what does that actually mean? Well, scientists discovered several years ago that although Botox is a toxin, when used in diluted small amounts it has cosmetic and medicinal benefits, including remedying muscle spasms.
How does Botox work?
Botox works by blocking chemical receptors that cause muscles to contract, without damaging the nerves. So, essentially, those muscles become frozen and relaxed.
How can Botox injections make you look younger?
Because it doesn’t require going under the knife, the popularity of Botox in the beauty industry has increased considerably in recent years. It has a range of cosmetic uses, including softening frown lines, smoothing out wrinkles, and reducing the appearance of crow’s feet and other lines caused by the repeated movement of facial muscles over time.
How is the treatment given?
When used for cosmetic treatments, Botox is injected into affected areas during a very quick process (anywhere from several minutes to an hour) that doesn’t require anaesthetic. This makes it a popular alternative to cosmetic surgery as it has minimal ‘down time’ after treatment and the effects can be seen almost immediately.
How long does Botox last?
A Botox injection can take about two to five days to fully start working, and the effects can last anywhere from around six weeks to four months. After this time the muscles will regain their movement, but repeat treatments can then be given to restore the effects.
What else can it be used for?
Aside from the fact Botox injections can make you look younger, they can also be used to treat other conditions, including excessive sweating, incontinence, chronic pain and cramps. Researchers are also trialling Botox as a treatment for asthma and hayfever.
Before the treatment
Kelly first decided to try cosmetic injections as her fine lines were quite developed for her age (27) and she was becoming increasingly frustrated with the way the lines aged her face and the way her make-up would settle into them. Kelly explains, “I definitely don’t ever want that ‘frozen face’ look but I don’t see the problem with getting the occasional jab to smooth out my lines and prevent them from getting worse.”
Jennifer Colyer, Laser Clinics Australia Registered Nurse and Cosmetic Injector who performed the procedure explains to me that cosmetic injections can actually help to prevent wrinkles. “It helps to minimise [the] dynamic action of muscles and this decreased movement helps place less stress on the skin, helping you maintain a fresh and youthful appearance.”
RELATED: 7 ways to look younger for free
Kelly explains what happens during the procedure: “It’s not painful in the slightest. Depending on your practitioner, your face will be wiped free from bacteria and you may be asked to hold ice onto the areas to create a numbing effect. After inspecting your face and problem areas, your practitioner will determine where they need to treat and how many mls are required for the desired effect. You will be asked to make expressions while the practitioner pinches the area or marks it before injecting a certain amount of the botox into it. It’s a slight stinging sensation but really, an extraction [facial] hurts way more.”
Anti-wrinkle injections do not work straight away. Jennifer tells me they usually start to take effect 48-72 hours post-treatment and the maximum effect is “generally visible within seven to 14 days”. Kelly says there can be some bruising for up to two days after the treatment and advises to “keep this in mind if you’re getting it done for a special occasion”.
RELATED: 5 ways not to look your age
Two weeks after
At Laser Clinics Australia, a review is recommended two weeks post-treatment to ensure the desired effect has been achieved. As for how long it lasts, Kelly tells me that depending on the deepness of your lines it can last anywhere from eight weeks to four months.
Cosmetic injections vary in price, depending on where you choose to get them. At Laser Clinics Australia they charge $12.90 per unit for anti-wrinkle injections and also offer packages to make the treatment more cost effective. Jennifer explains you can get 40 units for $349 which will treat two areas of concern (like Kelly’s crow’s feet and forehead). “[I will] 100 per cent continue to get injections two to three times a year as I really love how much better and smoother my skin looks,” says Kelly. “I can justify the cost as it means I spend less on make-up trying to cover the lines!”
Have you ever thought about cosmetic injections? What do you think of these before and afters?